95% of Pool Players prefer to buy a pool cue rather than trying their hand at making it!
Why? Because the process seems to be laborious. But, trust me, It is worth investing your all efforts.
Cues are indispensable part of your game of pool and billiards. Depending on its size, length and deflection, you can put it use for multiple games.
Ready-made pools cues are available in various styles, designs, and prices, from low-cost, mass-produced cues, to exclusive custom cues that be thousands of dollars. The vast price difference is due to the materials used and the method by which the pool cue was built. While skimming through Reddit, a frequent question doing the rounds, which cue brand is the best bang for your buck cue with a majority consent for McDermott Cue.
Cues with elaborate designs and low-cost prices most likely come with a solid maple core with the decal (fancy sticker). However, the authentic works of art are the ones with real points and inlays included. You can also check out some of the expensive pool cues here!
Also Read: How Much is My Meucci Pool Cue Worth?
Making the custom game cue featuring these types of traditional decorations requires enormous expertise, appropriate equipment, and many years of knowledge. In the following article, we’ll discuss one of the more sought-after cue-building techniques and its significance for the player.
Check out this Video from Scott Zachow which explains what goes into the process of making a pool cue.
So, what we have seen is that making pool cues is a work of precision. From starting off with a bare wood piece to crafting it into an overwhelming piece of a pool cue, it takes a lot of knowledge and effort to achieve the desired results. Depending on the type of wood and other custom specifications, it may take some days to a few weeks to make an impressive pool cue.
So, let’s dive in more to understand the various aspect that goes into making the pool cues – a better piece of work!
4 Types of Pool Cue Points
There are four types of pool cue points built. Full Splice Half Splice Inlaid or Decal. These four techniques have been in use for quite a while and encompass the whole variety of cue-building.
1. Full Spliced Pool Cues
Let’s begin beginning with Full Spliced Cues. A full spliced cue is one in which these points have been milled on each end and then interlock with each other. The phrase FULL Splice signifies that the lower portion of the cue is a single piece that extends to an extension of length that is the same as the handle.
This process is typically seen in top-of-the-line custom cues and cues for house use. It is a stable and durable construction technique that requires specific milling equipment and isn’t widely used.
In reality, just a handful of cue makers still employ this method because of the time-consuming and expensive manufacturing process. This being said, it is a sure bet that most full spliced cues cost a lot of money.
You May Like To Read: How To Identify Lucasi Pool Cue?
2. Half Spliced Pool Cues
Half Splice cues are the most used method for cue makers. The forearm portion that makes up the cue gets milled. The points of the veneer are put into the mill pocket in a V-shape. They are then glued and then turned around using the lathe. Half splice refers to the fact that the splice is stopped in the A Joint (where the forearm and handle are joined).
This method is much more affordable. However, it still requires special equipment to ensure proper execution. Custom cue makers favour this method because of its durability, allowing them to create long, sharp lines at the top of the cue point.
The cue manufacturing process typically begins with coring. Many custom cues are constructed using exotic or decretive hardwoods, and often these woods are very heavy. Since a pool cue must be balanced, coring the heavy wood can allow the cue maker to regulate the weight while still hitting the ideal balance point.
Also Read: Are Pool Cue Shafts Interchangeable?
This also adds the stability that will prevent the cue from becoming warped in time. It is accomplished by clamping the wood dowel and making use of a device called “gun drill” to create a perfect hole through the middle.
After this, the cue can be used to begin the milling process, which involves cutting the groves to align with the veneers and points.
Veneers are the multi-colored pieces that outline the principal areas. They begin as flat layers of stained wood, which are joined and cut.
After the veneers have been made and the lumber milled, the pieces wait to be placed and wrapped tightly until the glue is dry.
The next step is to reduce the points until they form one piece of smoothness. It must be done with care to avoid breaking each piece.
We now have a half-spliced forearm, ready to be put together using the grip area and decretive joint rings and sleeves.
The components in the butt get assembled by using dowel joints, steel bolts and glue. The pieces are usually decorated with rings that connect the pieces. The pool cue is done with a few last finishing touches and is then covered in lacquer and wrapped to complete the procedure.
Reason to Buy a Spliced Cue:
What is the reason to splice the points, you may ask? If you splice the points onto the cue, they become a structurally component of the cue’s construction. It means that a cue created by the same cue maker who includes spliced points will be different and more durable and stable than a cue with no points.
3. The Pool Cues have Inlays.
Inlaid points are a long-standing tradition with confident cue makers. These require special tools like CNC pantagraphs, which cut intricate inlays and pockets to insert them into. Inlaid points aren’t structurally an element of the construction, but they look stunning when executed by a professional cue maker.
Inlaid points offer numerous possibilities to create designs over spliced points. Not only do you need an artist to create these, but you must be an expert at understanding how to put the pieces together and how you put them together. A lot of custom pool cues feature half-splice points and inlays.
4. Decal Pool Cues
.The decal point is precisely what it is sounded like. Decals are exactly affixed on the cue under the surface. It is a cost-effective option for certain cue manufacturers or brands to create elaborate and beautiful designs while keeping the price of the cue to a sensible amount.
These decals aren’t structural and are primarily meant for decorative purposes only. However, they allow anyone with a budget to get a gorgeous-looking and fantastic playing cue.
Procedure: How To Make Pool Cue?
While we have discussed the various kinds of woods that could be used to make the cue, we’ll examine the method of creating cue sticks using hardwoods like hard maple ( Acer saccharum) to make the shaft for the cue and a handle that is made from lacewood ( Cardwellia sublimis). Begin by roughing some pieces made of hardwood until approximately 1 inch in diameter. Then, set them aside to air dry. After the blanks have dried, proceed as follows:
Part I – Making the Pool Cue Shaft
1. Install an unfinished cue blank on the lathe made of wood using the stronghold chuck and spur attachment. This shaft should be true with the lathe spinning at 1500 pm. You can raise the speed to 2000 rpm when you finish the process.
2. Place an adjustable rest to turn the shaft to make the cue. Place the steady rest approximately 1 foot away from the tailstock, then true 1-inch sections simultaneously. Stop the lathe and place the steady back on the section you turned. Reverse to the tailstock, then move towards the rest of the steady by turning the shaft.
3. It is suggested to employ a skew tool to make a peeling cut on the shaft as you turn it. Additionally, ensure that the contact area between the tool and the wood is as minimal as possible to reduce the risk of excessive vibrations. Do not make a large cut since it may cause vibrations.
4. In this stage, we will need to square both edges of our cue shaft. Take off any spurs attached to it, reverse the blank, re-mount it in the chuck, and then return the tailstock to its original position. You reverse the shaft because it is simpler to set the shoulder at the tailstock’s end instead of the headstock end. The shoulder should be set 3 to 4 degrees, which means that the outer edge of the blank is positioned into the back end to the back of the chuck.
5. Place the steady rest on the tailstock, securing the shaft securely in the correct position.
6.: Take the live center, then place the drill chuck inside the tailstock using a.360 bits drill. Make sure your hole has been precisely in the middle. Make a one-quarter ” deep hole through the shaft.
7. Step 7: you must remove the drill bit and mount a 7/16-14 tap inside the drill chuck. Tap the hole previously drilled to accommodate an insert made of brass. Thread 5/16-18 bolt into the insert.
8. Apply glue to the thread inside and then utilize this bolt to insert into the right place. Reverse the bolt carefully.
9. Thread 5/16-18 x 1/2 pin into the insert. After that, reverse the shaft by inserting the pin into the chuck.
Step 10 Beginning at the tailstock. Turn nine inches of the shaft to the same diameter. After that, move towards the headstock, which will have an overall size of 7/8 “. Make sure you use a steady rest to reduce the amount of vibration.
11. Place two plastic rings with an OD of 7/8-5/8 on the headstock, then place an oblong of silver between them.
12. Finish only the four first inches of the shaft. Use a piece of polished leather to complete the remainder of the shaft.
13. Place an iron rod on the top of the shaft. If the ferrule’s diameter exceeds the shaft’s tip, turn it on the lathe to create it the same size as the shaft tip.
14: Stick a point to the ferrule using hot Stuff Glue. Set the steady rest up, so it’s holding the ferrule. Reduce the lathe’s speed to between 500 and 600 rpm, then make sure the tip is in line with the ferrule.
The shaft should feel like an entire piece of metal with no edges when you move your fingers over it. The length at the end of the shaft is supposed to be 29 inches.
Did You Know: Pool Cue Shafts Are Interchangeable
Part II – Making the Pool Cue Handle
1. The handle’s length is 29” and a total load of both the shaft and the handle should be between 18-22 1 oz.
2. Begin with 2 inches of lacewood and then rough it up to one 1/4 ” of diameter. Be sure the shoulder on that tailstock will be square.
3. Turn the handle reverse and mount it onto the 3-jaw or similar chuck.
4. Create a hole less than the 5/16 pin in the handle with the drill chuck mounted on the tailstock. The hole should measure about 2 inches in diameter.
5: Put some of the Hot Stuff Glue in the hole and put the 5/16 pin in position using your drill chuck. This technique will ensure you get the perfect alignment which you may not be able to attain by tapping.
6. Once that glue is dry, turn back the handle and put the pin into the chuck for driving. It will be apparent if this step has been executed properly if the shaft turns in the correct direction as the lathe turns.
7. Cut across the entire extended length of your handle to make it perfectly round. Don’t cut too deep to prevent vibrations.
8. In the following step, you will need to install a stainless steel joint collar. Before that, you need to drill 5/8 ID threads onto the collar. Also, put the 7/8 OD and 5/8 ID and 1/2 Black substance between the collar’s wood. Once the handles turn to 5/8 OD, insert the collar inside the chuck, apply glue, and put the ring and collar into place.
9. Turn and complete your pool cue’s handle up to your desired taper level. It will appear as a single piece, with no joints and edges if you rub your finger across it. You can apply multiple coats of gun finishing on your handle to create it appear excellent. Then, you can add a rubber stopper to the end.
Check Out This Detailed Tutorial To Make A Perfect Pool Cue:
Your customized pool cue is ready to use, and you can begin playing once the finish stick’s glue is dry. However, if you’re new to woodworking, we recommend you buy a pre-made cue stick. It is due to the possibility that you have an accident since using a lathe could be extremely dangerous if you aren’t familiar with it. You could also waste lots of dollars on primary materials.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Wood To Make A Pool Cue?
Maple Wood is considered as best for making quality pool cues. Consider straight-grained hard rock maple wood for your pool cue-making venture.
What are Pool Cues Coated With?
While most of the pool cues are made from wood, there are other materials such as graphite, fiberglass, or carbon fiber.
What is the End of A Pool Cue Made Of?
It is one of the most frequently asked questions on Quora. The Pool Cue tips are mostly made up of leather. Hard leather is pressed and the fibers are compressed thereafter.